What could be the last ever Midsummer Tournament – at least in its current form – takes place tomorrow (Friday) in Airdrie with holders Lewis and Harris keen to hang onto the trophy.
The annual four-way football dance, this year involving Lewis and Harris, Uist and Barra, Glasgow Island and Glasgow Islay, is taking place at Airdrie United’s showpiece Excelsior Stadium.
The two island ex-pat sides will clash in the first semi-final while Lewis and Harris and Uist and Barra meet in the other. Then the winning sides will go head to head for the chance to be crowned Midsummer Champions.
All of the squad lists have now been submitted to the Gazette with Lewis and Harris boss Billy Flower admitting his selection had been one of the most difficult since taking on the role due to a huge number of injuries and call-offs.
The prestigious tournament has been running since 1993 and this, its 20th anniversary, has seen the withdrawal of Skye and West Highland select with Lewis and Harris select also signalling their intention to make this competition their last in order to pursue other ventures.
Glasgow Island manager, Murdo John Graham is pleased that their plan to host at a major stadium has come off. He commented: “A lot of professional stadia are actually available for public hire - if you have the money! Seriously, though, we were delighted to get the venues we have and we hope we can do justice to what looks like, sadly, the last Midsummer Tournament.
“I have a lot of fantastic memories of this competition from when I was a young spectator at the first one in Ness, to when I was a player competing in it and subsequently as a manager. Let us hope for a brilliant contest this weekend - it would take a brave man to predict with certainty who is going to win it.”
The semi finals are scheduled for a 3.30pm ko at Airdrie Leisure Centre and Airdrie Excelsior Stadium respectively. The final is due to take place at 5.35 at the Excelsior.
Lewis and Harris Select: James Macleod, Colin Maclean (Back FC), Jack Maclennan (Stornoway United FC), Peter Mackenzie, David Macmillan (Lochs FC), Stuart Flower, Alasdair Gillies (Point FC), Micheil Smith (Ness FC), Daniel Macleod, Rob Jones, DJ Clinton (Stornoway Athletic FC), Calum Tom Moody, Dan Crossley, Fraser Macleod, Scott Macaulay (Carloway FC).
Glasgow Islay FC: Andrew Campbell, Andrew MacArthur, Scott Innes, Kevin Morrison, Michael Crocock, Andy Donaldson, Charlie McLaughlin, Stephen Dougherty, Gavin Macphee, Shaun MacKinnon, Ronnie Munro, Robin Lunghi, Iain MacDonald, Ryan Breslin, Andy Gardener, Jason Macalonon.
Uist and Barra Select: Angus Campbell, John A MacPhee, Harry Luney, Ali Downie, Archie MacDonald, Carl MacPhee (Iochdar Saints), Duncan MacInnes, Ali MacDonald, Seumas Campbell, Owen MacInnes(Eriskay), Danny Steele, Andrew MacIsaac, Roddy P MacDonald(Southend), Hector MacPhee, Donnie MacLeod (Benbecula), Craig Ferguson, James Davidson (Barra), Andy MacQuarrie (North Uist Utd).
Glasgow Island FC: Ian Mackay, Stuart Fraser, Iain Bothwell, Derick Macleod, Donald John Smith, Mark McGee, Liam Kane, Andrew Dunn, Derek Wark, Tom Smith, David Kinnaird, John Macisaac, Calum Mackay, Mark Morrison, Calum Maclean, Duncan Steele, Chris Macleod.